ISBN 978-0-7559-9287-4 (Web only publication)
The guidance booklet is also available in pdf format (172k)
The poster is available to download here
Parents are by far the most important influence in children's lives and learning. In this booklet we will use the word 'parent' to mean both parent and carer.
This booklet explains your responsibilities as a parent when it comes to your child's attendance at school. It's important to remember that once you enrol your child at a local education authority school the law says the child must attend school unless the parent has permission from the education authority to withdraw the child from school.
Parents are legally responsible for making sure that their child is educated. Most parents choose to send their child to school, though some do educate their child at home. This is a booklet for parents of children who go to a school provided by their local education authority. This booklet also explains what responsibilities your child's school and local education authority have in making sure your child is happy, safe and doing their best at school.
This booklet describes important aspects of the support your child is entitled to if school attendance is a problem. If your child is anxious or worried about attending school please do ask for support and help. As well as speaking to your child's school if you have questions or concerns there are a number of helping agencies listed in this booklet.
Part 1: Attending school
What is attendance?
Is it ever alright for my child to be off school?
What happens if my child is ill and can't go to school?
What does the school do if my child is off school?
Can I find out how many absences my child has had?
What about family holidays during term-time?
What is truancy?
What should I do if my child is anxious or worried about going to school?
Part 2: Support in school
What personal support can my child expect in school?
What can I do if I feel my child is not getting the support they need to attend school?
Why are pupils excluded?
What is mediation?
Part 3: Using the law when children do not attend school
Information about measures for compulsory compliance: attendance orders; anti-social behaviour orders; parenting orders; acceptable behaviour contracts
Can my child be referred to the Reporter to the Children's Panel if there are problems with school attendance?
Part 4: Support, information and advice
Sources of general and legal support
Attendance at school - what do I need to know? (poster)